Several of our readers have asked us to recommend home DNA tests. After careful research, we suggest these top eight home DNA kits, bearing in mind that all require send away to a laboratory for testing. Several of the models include legal certification but obviously the sample collection chain must be sworn to by the collector. We’ve added links to each test for your review of test specs. Just remember one thing in any kind of testing of this kind – the child involved is an innocent. Keep that in mind.
- Ancestry.com – Will delete or destroy physical test results if requested.
- SwabTest – All legal DNA tests are fully admissible in court in every state in the USA.
- HomeDNA – The markers analyzed include the same 13 markers used by the FBI for human identity testing.
- Identigene – Court-admissible by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) guidelines.
- National Geographic Geno 2.0 – Can find out if you have Neanderthal ancestry
- Paternity Depot – May be able to distinguish between identical twins.
- RapidDNA – Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing issued by the Director of the FBI.
- Endeavor Paternity Test – Not available for New York State.
Several important things to know about DNA testing: (from Ancestry.com)
Before you order a DNA test, know what kind of test you’re looking for. Paternity tests and ancestry DNA tests are very different, and most vendors don’t offer both kinds to consumers. If you’re interested in finding out about whether or not you have Eastern European roots, an ancestral test can give you that information. If you want to know if a child’s alleged father is correct, a paternity test does the job. Pricing and timelines for the two procedures are very different.
Most of these DNA samples can be collected in your home, unless otherwise specified. The most common form of collection is through a cheek swab because it’s quick and painless. However, some labs allow submission samples from toothbrushes, gum or other body fluids.
Ancestry DNA tests are typically slower to process than paternity tests. Part of this is due to the time sensitivity of paternity tests, and part of this is due to the size of the database an ancestry test is using. When you’re looking into your ethnicity, the lab specialists are comparing your DNA with thousands of other samples to identify your deep-seeded roots. In paternity tests, they’re only looking at a couple of samples.
Paternity tests are stressful enough, and they’re often tied up in legal disputes. Because of this, time is usually of the essence. You can usually get your results in a week or less, but some companies offer expedited options. Before buying, look at how quickly you can expect to get your results.
This is more relevant to paternity tests, because such tests can be used in court proceedings. In order for a test to be admissible in court, certain procedures must be followed. Some companies accommodate for this, while others explicitly state that their tests cannot be submitted.
There are many standards and levels of accreditation for genetic testing labs. Genetic testing is an intensive and complex process, so it’s important that your lab is up to date, safe and secure.
Of all times when the Reagan quote, “Trust but verify” applies, perhaps no more so than with paternal testing. Just remember, again, that the child had no choice in the matter.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.